According to VTDigger.org, Gov. Peter Shumlin called for the allocation of $8.8 million in state funds for low-income heating assistance in current fiscal year (FY) 2013. This funding level would represent an increase of 44 percent from the $6.1 million paid out to the state's fuel assistance program in FY 2012. That is the amount lawmakers say is necessary to keep up with the program's growing demand, while also holding the average household benefit for five months at $900.
"We're a state where neighbors take care of neighbors and neighbors take care of strangers," Shumlin told a room full of lawmakers, citizens and members of the media at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity's Burlington headquarters on Tuesday. "There is not a Vermonter who wants to see low-income Vermonters cold in their homes, making terrible choices between heat, the medicine they need to survive, food, clothing and keeping warm."
In 2001, a group of singers from Londonderry made a decision to start a Scandinavian American chorus. They put out a call for singers, hired a director and the Nordic Harmoni Chorus was born. Now, twelve years later, the chorus belongs to the American Union of Swedish Singers and has over 20 singers.
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